Mind Games

By Brolkier

Adventure / Fantasy

Incoming!

Underneath Cloudsdale.

Soarin and the changeling finally arrived at their last stop before flying up to Cloudsdale.

“Here we are.” The changeling spoke, looking up at Cloudsdale above.

“Feels like forever since I’ve been back.” Soarin added on, looking up as well.

Soarin squinted, noticing something in the distance above him.

“Do you see something falling?” Soarin asked the changeling.

“Huh?” The changeling replied, before taking another look.

There did indeed appear to be something falling down, and growing larger by the second.

“Now that you mention it…” The changeling answered, before noticing that the object was approaching at a much faster rate and getting even larger.

“INCOMING!” Soarin yelled, jumping out of the way.

The changeling jumped out of the way just in time to avoid a giant stone face striking the ground with a “THWOOMP!”

The two looked back to see it was the face of an angry looking Discord looking down, before it looked up at them with a smile.

“It’s a me!” Discord’s face spoke to the two.

The two of them took off in a run away from Discord, before Princess Celestia landed before them as well, blocking their path.

“Princess Celestia!” Soarin exclaimed.

Soarin and the changeling tried to run away again, but quickly found themselves caught by Princess Celestia’s magic, stopping them in place.

“P..p..please! Spare me!” The changeling yelled to Princess Celestia.

“What about me!?” Soarin yelled at the changeling.

“You’ve been sneaking around since before Queen Chrysalis was ponynapped.” Princess Celestia told the changeling.

“Bu..but!” The changeling tried to reply.

“You used the resulting confusion from the other ponies escaping to free yourself.” Princess Celestia continued.

“I was! You see!...” The changeling added on.

“And now you’re aiding and abetting another prisoner.” Princess Celestia spoke.

“But you don’t understand! There’s a!...” The changeling spoke once more.

“Enough!” Princess Celestia replied. “I’m taking you both back to your cells in Canterlot, and this time I’ll make sure you won’t leave again.”

“Wait! Wait!” The changeling pleaded.

“THERE’S A LOVE POISON!” Soarin yelled out.

“Hmm?” Princess Celestia replied, looking over at Soarin.

“Oh my!” Discord’s stone face exclaimed, before turning into the normal Discord.

“What did you just say?” Princess Celestia asked.

“I said that there’s a love poison, Princess!” Soarin answered.

“A love POISON?” Discord asked. “Pah-lease. That sounds like something out of a fan-fiction.”

“I thought you had explained everything back in the cell.” Princess Celestia asked.

“I didn’t know about this then!” Soarin replied.

“Even if that WAS real…” Discord spoke, lying on his stomach in mid-air. “Is that really the best excuse you could come up with?”

“Enough Discord!” Princess Celestia told the draconequus. “I gave you the benefit of the doubt before, given your story. Why should I believe you now?” She asked Soarin.

“Because I just recently found out about it your highness!” Soarin replied. “I still don’t even know the full details myself!”

“Perhaps it wasn’t just you sneaking around at night as Luna had told me, but an assassination attempt that ‘you’ were going to commit.” Princess Celestia responded.

“No your highness, please!” Soarin begged.

“I can explain everything Princess Celestia!” The changeling spoke up.

“Hmm? What do you know about all of this?” Princess Celestia asked the changeling.

“I overheard the conversation those outsider ponies and Trixie were having about the love poison.” The changeling answered.

“What!?” Princess Celestia replied, shocked. “Those ponies are working with Trixie!?”

“No! Uh…yes?...I don’t know!?” The changeling responded, just as confused.

“Start talking!” Princess Celestia told the changeling, fire starting to appear in her mane.

“Oh this is getting interesting!” Discord said aloud, leaning back on a lawn chair, a bag of popcorn in his hands.

“Princess Celestia please!” Soarin tried to reason with the royal. “I still don’t know exactly what’s going on either.”

“Talk!” Princess Celestia demanded, more fire appearing in her mane and tail.

“Uhh…yes ma’am!” The changeling answered.

After I had uh…gotten out of my cell, I decided to follow those outsider ponies. They headed for the donut shop in Canterlot, saying something about meeting up with that stallion from Appleloosa.

“Go on.” Princess Celestia spoke, her hair returning to normal.

“Uhh…yes.” The changeling replied.

When they arrived, they discovered that the stallion had collapsed because of Trixie. It was after that that she told them about the love poison. Apparently, Trixie took it when she was in the Royal Palace.

“Why would she do that?” Princess Celestia asked.

“She said that the love poison was all part of a plan between Spitfire and the Unicorn brothers to get rid of Queen Chrysalis.” The changeling answered.

“Hmm…” Celestia thought to herself. “And you REALLY didn’t know anything about this?” She asked Soarin.

“Of course not your highness!” Soarin replied.

“So what were you two doing here then?” Princess Celestia asked.

“We were going to Cloudsdale to hide from Spitfire.” The changeling responded.

“Hide from her? In her own city?” Princess Celestia asked, skeptical.

“Well, we figured it would be the last place she would look since he was now on the run. “ The changeling added on.

“Sounds like a plan to me.” Discord spoke up, eating another handful of popcorn.

“But why is she pursuing you?” Princess Celestia asked again.

“My guess is to leave it with me so she could set me up?” Soarin replied.

“But for what purpose?” Princess Celestia continued to ask.

“They said that their plan was to get rid of Queen Chrysalis and blame it on him.” The changeling responded.

“But Queen Chrysalis is still missing.” Princess Celestia spoke.

Celestia reflected on earlier events and everything she knew up to that point.

“This doesn’t make any sense.” She thought to herself.

“If they truly wanted to pin the blame on him…” Discord began to say, before disappearing. “Then wouldn’t they want to set them near each other? Hmm?” He added, appearing between Soarin and the changeling, pulling them together.

“But then that would mean…” Soarin began to speak.

“It means that neither of them knows where Queen Chrysalis is.” Princess Celestia spoke up.

Discord, Soarin, and the changeling all looked at Princess Celestia.

“Spitfire and the Flim Flam brothers want to get rid of Queen Chrysalis.” She started speaking. “To do this, they had planned to use the love poison on her, but she never drank it. This is where you come in.” She continued to speak, looking over at Soarin.

“Me?” Soarin asked, confused.

“Yes.” Princess Celestia replied. “My guess is that you were meant to be a scapegoat, and be there in the event that something went wrong.”

“So Captain Spitfire really was just using me…” Soarin replied, looking at the ground.

“What I don’t understand is why Trixie would be involved in all this, and why she’d take the love poison.” Princess Celestia continued. “If you were meant to be the suspect, then what would be the point of taking it instead of leaving it with you as evidence?”

“Maybe because he didn’t know about it until now?” The changeling suggested.

“But we placed him in the dungeon.” Princess Celestia responded. “What would be the point if he was down there and Queen Chrysalis was nowhere near the palace?”

“You don’t suppose she was trying to protect Queen Chrysalis?” Discord asked.

“There’s a possibility, but if that’s the case, then why was she ponynapped only to leave the love poison in the palace?” Princess Celestia asked.

“Maybe she didn’t want Queen Chrysalis anywhere near the palace while I was there?” Soarin suggested.

“But why wouldn’t she tell anypony about it or its location?” Princess Celestia asked. “Did you overhear anything else?” She asked the changeling once more.

“Uhh…I don’t think so…” The changeling replied. “Wait! She said something about leaving Canterlot for safety.”

“Was that meant to imply that Canterlot wouldn’t be safe had they managed to bring the love poison back?” Princess Celestia asked.

“But I thought Queen Chrysalis was no longer in the city?” Discord asked, pulling off his head to scratch it.

“That’s what we still believe, but it sounds like she hasn’t been found anywhere else yet as well.” Princess Celestia replied.

“Where do you know think she could still be?” Soarin asked.

“Appleloosa, Ponyville, and Rainbow Falls still haven’t sent any word.” Princess Celestia answered.

“But since both of the Appleloosa ponies are with those other ones, then they wouldn’t be able to send anything.” The changeling brought up.

“I suppose so.” Princess Celestia replied. “Discord.” She addressed the draconequus.

“Yes?” Discord answered, putting his head back on.

“Can you return to Canterlot and see if the guards have received anything?” Celestia asked.

“Very well.” Discord answered, disappearing.

A few moments passed, before Discord reappeared once again.

“It appears that Apple Jack stopped by again.” Discord told the Princess, holding up a pair of glasses to his eyes while looking at a piece of parchment.

“What did she have to say?” Celestia asked.

“Let’s see…” Discord began to read. “Blah blah blah…apples…blah blah…some kind of crazy lingo…blah blah blah…apples again… aaaannnnndddd…….nothing.” He finished, moving the glasses away from him.

“I suppose that’s one less place to worry about then.” Celestia added on. “I hope that when the ponies from Ponyville send word that they would also report on the nearby areas as well. Anything else?”

“Nope.” Discord answered, tossing the parchment away.

“Send a letter to Apple Jack and tell her that we need her to check on Appleloosa for us, as well as to check up on the ponies from Ponyville for any news.” Celestia told Discord.

“As you wish.” Discord replied, starting to type the message on a typewriter he had manifested.

“So what about us Princess Celestia? Are we free to go?” Soarin asked.

Princess Celestia looked at the Pegasi before thinking for a second.

“Hmm…no.” She replied. “I have a better idea.”

“Huh?” Soarin and the changeling responded at the same time.

“While we’re waiting on word from Apple Jack; the four of us are going to go pay the Flim Flam brothers a visit.” Princess Celestia said aloud.

“But your highness! We’d be walking right into their hooves!” The changeling argued.

Princess Celestia walked between the still trapped culprits, before speaking.

“It sounds as though only Captain Spitfire is currently pursuing you, which must have something to do with you having worked for her.” Princess Celestia spoke, addressing Soarin. “We should be safe traveling over to Rainbow Falls, as long as you two are with us.” She continued. “We found out that Spitfire was using a spy to keep tabs on Canterlot, and I’m willing to bet that the Flim Flam brothers have something similar.” She explained. “Since you two were coming here after we did, they may only think that Discord and I were there and won’t suspect seeing the two of us head towards them.”

“Done!” Discord said aloud.

Upon finishing the message, Discord ripped the paper from the typewriter and proceeded to appear to breathe fire at it. However, instead of the letter floating off, Discord instead inhaled the paper back into his body.

“Good. Let’s get going.” Celestia replied.

“Umm…can we come down now?” The changeling asked.

“Oh, yes. My apologies.” Princess Celestia answered, releasing her magic grip on the two, causing them to fall to the ground. "Now. About your disguise changeling."

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